Xiaomi leads wearables market, overtakes Apple, Fitbit

August 10, 2017 // By Rich Pell
According to a new report from market research firm Strategy Analytics, Xiaomi (Beijing, China) became the top global wearables vendor in the first quarter of 2017, beating out Apple and Fitbit for the first time.

Global wearables shipments reached almost 22 million units in the second quarter, the report finds. The Chinese consumer electronics company captured a 17 percent share of the market.

“Global wearables shipments reached 21.6 million units in Q2 2017, rising eight percent annually from 20.0 million in Q2 2016," says Steven Waltzer, Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics. "Strong demand for low-cost fitness bands in China and premium smartwatches across the United States drove the uptick."

Xiaomi shipped 3.7 million wearables worldwide in Q2 2017, rising 23 percent annually from 3.0 million units in Q2 2016, the market research firm reported. "Xiaomi's Mi Band fitness trackers are wildly popular in China, due to their highly competitive pricing and rich features such as heart-rate monitors, step-counters, and calendar alerts," says Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytic.

Meanwhile, Fitbit saw its wearables shipments almost halve from 29 percent a year ago to 3.4 million, for a 16 percent market share in the second quarter. "Fitbit is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between the low-end fitness bands sold by Xiaomi and the fitness-led, high-end smartwatches sold by Apple," says Mawston.

Apple shipped 2.8 million wearables worldwide in the second quarter, growing 56 percent annually from 1.8 million in Q2 2016. According to the research firm, Apple lost its leadership in the wearables market as a result of a lack of presence in the fitness band category.

"However," says Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics, "the rumored upcoming Watch Series 3 launch with enhanced health tracking could prove to be a popular smartwatch model and enable Apple to reclaim the top wearables spot later this year."

www.strategyanalytics.com